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  1. Five dead, at least 40 injured in UK parliament 'terrorist' attack By Toby Melville and William James Police tapes off Parliament Square after reports of loud bangs, in London, Britain, March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth LONDON (Reuters) - Five people were killed and about 40 injured in London on Wednesday after a car ploughed into pedestrians and a suspected Islamist-inspired attacker stabbed a policeman close to Britain's parliament. The dead included the assailant and the policeman he stabbed, while the other two victims were among the pedestrians hit by the car as it tore along Westminster Bridge before crashing into railings just outside parliament. "We've declared this as a terrorist incident and the counter-terrorism command are carrying out a full-scale investigation into the events today," Mark Rowley, Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer, told reporters. "The attack started when a car was driven over Westminster Bridge, hitting and injuring a number of members of the public, also including three police officers. An air ambulance lands in Parliament Square during an incident on Westminster Bridge in London. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth "A car then crashed near to parliament and at least one man, armed with a knife continued the attack and tried to enter parliament." Reuters reporters inside parliament at the time heard loud bangs and shortly afterwards saw the knifeman and the stabbed policeman lying on the ground in a courtyard within the gates of parliament. A Reuters photographer saw at least a dozen people injured on the bridge. His photographs showed people lying on the ground, some of them bleeding heavily and one under a bus. A woman was pulled alive, but with serious injuries, from the Thames, the Port of London Authority said. The circumstances of her fall into the river were unknown. Three French schoolchildren aged 15 or 16 were among those injured in the attack, French officials said. The attack took place on the first anniversary of attacks by Islamist militants that killed 32 people in Brussels. Prime Minister Theresa May was being kept updated and was due to chair a meeting of the government's crisis response committee. "The thoughts of the PM and the government are with those killed and injured in this appalling incident, and with their families," her office said in a statement. CHAOTIC SCENES Eyewitnesses described chaotic scenes during the attack. "I just saw a car go out of control and just go into pedestrians on the bridge," said Bernadette Kerrigan, who was on a tour bus on the bridge at the time, in an interview with Sky News. "As we were going across the bridge, we saw people lying on the floor, they were obviously injured. I saw about 10 people maybe. And then the emergency services started to arrive. Everyone was just running everywhere." The House of Commons, which was in session at the time, was suspended and lawmakers were asked to stay inside. Interior minister Amber Rudd said the government's top priority was people's security. "The British people will be united in working together to defeat those who would harm our shared values: values of democracy, tolerance and the rule of law," she said. May spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump about the attack, the White House said. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson condemned what he described as "horrific acts of violence". Polish former Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who witnessed the attack from a taxi as he crossed the bridge, said he saw five victims and made a video of the scene. "I heard something that sounded like a small car crash. Then I looked out of the window and saw that there was one person lying on the asphalt," he told Reuters. "I did not see the face of the person lying on the asphalt, but the person was not moving, it was not showing any signs of life. One of the men I saw, his head was bleeding very badly. But the person I filmed - no, that person was not showing any signs of life." Journalist Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail newspaper told LBC radio that he had witnessed the stabbing of the policeman and the shooting of the assailant from his office in the parliament building. "He (the assailant) ran in through the open gates ... He set about one of the policemen with what looked like a stick," Letts said. "The policeman fell over on the ground and it was quite horrible to watch and then having done that, he disengaged and ran towards the House of Commons entrance used by MPs (members of parliament) and got about 20 yards or so when two plain-clothed guys with guns shot him." In Edinburgh, the Scottish parliament suspended a planned debate and vote on independence as the news from London came in. Britain is on its second-highest alert level of "severe" meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely. In May 2013, two British Islamists stabbed to death soldier Lee Rigby on a street in southeast London. In July 2005, four British Islamists killed 52 commuters and themselves in suicide bombings on the British capital's transport system in what was London's worst peacetime attack. Wednesday's attack was near the location where, in 1979, Airey Neave, a Member of Parliament who was a close aide to Margaret Thatcher, was killed by a car-bomb claimed by the Irish National Liberation Army. (Additional reporting by Kylie Maclellan, Elizabeth Piper, Costas Pitas, Alistair Smout, Michael Holden, Kate Holton, Elisabeth O'Leary, Andy Bruce, David Milliken and William Schomberg, Lidia Kelly; writing by Estelle Shirbon, editing by Stephen Addison, Guy Faulconbridge and Giles Elgood) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-03-23
  2. Manchester now cheaper than Bangkok thanks to Brexit: Weak pound makes UK a bargain for visitors while Brits are stung by rising shop prices - Manchester is as expensive as Bangkok, at 51st place - London is 24th most expensive in the world and tenth in Europe - London is now cheaper to live than New York for the first time in 15 years By Camilla Canocchi for Thisismoney.co.uk The UK has become a cheaper place for visitors but more expensive for Britons since the Brexit referendum caused the pound to drop sharply, new research shows. Manchester has recorded the biggest drop in the cost of living for expats than all the other big cities in the world, falling 25 places to 51st, on a par with Bangkok and cheaper than Beijing. London has also fallen sharply down the list, going from being the 6th most expensive city in the world to the 24th, its lowest ranking in twenty years, according to the latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit. Full story:http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-4334258/UK-cheaper-visitors-expensive-Britons.html -- This is MONEY 2017-03-21
  3. Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness dies aged 66 Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister, has died aged 66. It is understood he had been suffering from a rare heart condition. The former IRA leader turned peacemaker worked at the heart of the power-sharing government following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. Full story: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-39185899 -- © Copyright BBC 2017-03-21
  4. Filthy dirty stinking rubbish just yards from Pattaya city hall - it's a disgrace say residents Picture siamchon news PATTAYA: -- Residents in North Pattaya are calling for action in a soi polluted by tons of stinking and rotting rubbish. And the area in question is just a few hundred yards from the Pattaya municipal offices, siamchon news reported. The soi in question is Soi Pattaya Nua 2, Soi 1 in Banglamung. For a 300 meter stretch there is food waste, toilet excrement, old bedding, waste paper and other items all rotting and giving off terrible odors. Local resident Sawart Duangmalai, 57, called it the "graveyard of rubbish". He said whenever the local authority clear it up people start dumping there all over again. He called it a disgrace and a health hazard to tourists, children and all family members who are at risk of diseases from the foul dump. He didn't know who was dumping it all. But he and others want the mess cleared up once and for all. Source: siamchon news -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-03-01
  5. China is not militarising South China Sea, Premier Li says REUTERS Chinese Premier Li Keqiang inspects an honour guard during an official welcoming ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, March 23, 2017. REUTERS/David Gray SYDNEY (Reuters) - China is not militarising the South China Sea, Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday, although he acknowledged that defence equipment on islands in the disputed waterway had been placed there to maintain "freedom of navigation". China has drawn international criticism for large-scale building in the South China Sea, although Li told reporters in Australia the development was for civilian purposes only. "China's facilities, Chinese islands and reefs, are primarily for civilian purposes and, even if there is a certain amount of defence equipment or facilities, it is for maintaining the freedom of navigation," Li said. China claims most of the resource-rich South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. Neighbours Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims on the strategic waterway. The United States estimates Beijing has added more than 3,200 acres (1,300 hectares) of land on seven features in the South China Sea over the past three years, building runways, ports, aircraft hangars and communications equipment. The United States has conducted a series of freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea, raising tensions between Washington and Beijing. (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Paul Tait) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-03-24
  6. X-ray check on lorry reveals haul of meth tablets By The Nation LAMPANG: -- Police using an X-ray machine seized more than 1.1 million methamphetamine tablets hidden in a truck intercepted at a checkpoint on Highway 1 in Lampang’s Mae Prik district on Saturday. Officers had manned the checkpoint following a tip-off that a large haul of drugs would be transported along the route. The X-ray machine revealed the drugs hidden inside a bucket concealed under blue canvas spread over the bed of the truck. Truck driver Sakda Srisod, 30, was arrested and charged with having illicit drugs in possession with intention to sell. He allegedly said it was his second delivery of drugs, with Tak as his destination. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30309584 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-03-20
  7. Dead from the heat - Swiss cowman found dead in boiling Tak Picture: Manager Online TAK: -- Police in downtown Tak in Thaland's north west were called to a house where they found a Swiss national dead on his sofa yesterday. They found Mr Donni Peter Arnold, 54, in his living room dressed in a shirt and short jeans. He had been dead around 12 hours. There was no sign of foul play Manager Online reported. A foreign friend said that Mr Arnold had lived in Thailand for many years and had been married to a local woman. But the couple had split up and he had come to rent a house and live alone. He tended four cows on a piece of land that he rented and he always appeared happy. But when he didn't show up as normal the friend went to investigate and found his body. Police believe that he died from the extreme heat - Tak has been experiencing temperatures of 38-40 degrees. They also said that he had recently been to see doctors at Somdej Phrajao Taksin Maharat hospital as he was suffering from liver disease. Manager said that the deceased was known to be a heavy drinker. The body was sent for autopsy and relatives have been informed. Source: Manager Online -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-03-24
  8. Ex-AI boss says public has right to see evidence in teen activist’s killing By The Nation BANGKOK: -- Authorities must show the public the evidence that justifies the Army’s claim that the extra-judicial killing of Lahu teen activist Chaiyapoom Pasae at a military checkpoint in Chiang Mai was necessary, an activist said on Friday. Chamnan Chanruang, the Chiang Mai-based former chairman of Amnesty International Thailand, said his call especially related to CCTV recordings of the incident in Chiang Dao district last Friday. Third Army Area 3 chief Lt-General Wijak Banpasop claimed the recordings showed 17-year-old Chaiyapoom resisting soldiers in the performance of their duty. Chamnan said the probe was necessary to determine if the officers over-reacted. He said the case had attracted massive attention locally and internationally, so transparency was key. The Army said the killing of Chaiyapoom was an act of self-defence after the teen allegedly pulled out a knife and a hand grenade. The Army described him as a suspected drug trafficker, alleging 800 methamphetamine tablets were found in his car following the shooting. In response to the drug dealing allegation, Chamnan said the case should be investigated fairly based on available evidence. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30310143 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-03-24
  9. Pattaya to hold traditional Songkran fair By The Nation PATTAYA: -- Pattaya City will organise a fair to promote Thai traditional values during the Songkran festival from April 12 to 20 in an effort to correct its image as a sex city, the mayor said on Thursday. Pattaya Mayor Pol Maj-General Anan Charoenchasri said the South Pattaya Walking Street fair will be held on Pattaya Soi 6. Anan said operators of all types of businesses were asked to join the fair that would include a procession of a sacred Buddha image and traditional games and Songkran water splashing. He said business operators were asked to take part in the fair by having their employees dress in Thai traditional costumes. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/breakingnews/30310105 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-03-24
  10. Australian woman dead after colliding with husband's jetski at Kata Beach Eakkapop Thongtub Rescue workers perform CPR on the woman at Kata Beach. Photo: Ekkapop Thongtub PHUKET: -- An Australian woman, Emily Jayne Collie, 20, has died after colliding with her husband as the couple were riding jetskis near Kata Beach at 4:45pm today (5 Feb). The married couple hired two jetskis earlier that day from a vendor at Karon Beach and reportedly rode them at high speed to Kata Beach. While riding near Kata Beach the couple collided in the water at high speed and the woman suffered severe injuries to her neck and shoulders. The man, who has not yet been identified, suffered only minor injuries. Full story: http://www.thephuketnews.com/australian-woman-dead-after-colliding-with-husband-jetski-at-kata-beach-60915.php -- © Copyright Phuket News 2017-02-06
  11. Met office: Severe summer storms to hit Thailand from Friday Picture: Tnews BANGKOK: -- The Thai Metrological Office has warned that severe summer storms will hit Thailand from this Friday until next Tuesday. There will be heavy rains, thunder and lightning and high winds all across the upper part of the country. Some areas will experience hailstones, they said. The stormy weather will hit Isaan and the eastern seaboard first on Friday then move into and include the northern and central regions from Saturday until next Tuesday, Tnews reported. The warning was the second one of its kind, said Tnews, as a weather front from China hits high temperatures currently being experienced in Thailand. The south will also have higher rainfall. Tnews asked the online community to share the news across social media for "the benefit of your loved ones". Source Tnews -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-03-23
  12. Trump dealt setback on healthcare plan as House puts off vote By David Morgan and Richard Cowan REUTERS An emergency sign is shown at the entrance to the University of San Diego Health System in La Jolla, California, U.S., March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday failed to close the deal with Republican lawmakers on how to dismantle Obamacare, forcing the House of Representatives to delay a vote on a healthcare bill that was supposed to be his first legislative win. The day had been designed as a big symbolic win for conservatives. Trump and House Republican leaders planned the vote on the seventh anniversary of former Democratic President Barack Obama signing his namesake healthcare law, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, which became a prime target for Republicans. Some Republican conservatives felt the new Trump-backed healthcare plan, formally called the American Health Care Act, did not go far enough, while some moderates worried the legislation would hurt their constituents, so the bill was postponed indefinitely as negotiations continued into the evening. The White House has insisted there is no "Plan B" if the bill fails. "I am desperately trying to get to ‘yes’ and I think the president knows that. I told him that personally," said North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows, the chairman of a group of conservatives known as the Freedom Caucus, which has been critical of the bill. "We're going to get to the finish line," Meadows told reporters. Trump, who has been working the phones all week and bringing lawmakers into the Oval Office to talk, met with the Freedom Caucus on Thursday morning, and was set to later meet with moderate Republicans, known as the 'Tuesday Group.' As the healthcare drama unfolded on Capitol Hill, Trump took a break from the negotiations to talk about the issue and hang out with some truckers, climbing into the cab of one long-haul transport truck parked on the back driveway of the White House, and blowing the horn a few times. He told reporters the vote would be close but remained optimistic. "I think we’re doing well. We’ll find out in about three hours," he said, just as reports began to surface that the vote had been postponed. Even if the bill does eventually get approval from the House, the legislation faces a potentially tough fight in the Republican-controlled Senate. The House and Senate had hoped to deliver a new healthcare bill to Trump by April 8, when Congress is scheduled to begin a two-week spring break. MARKET TURNED RED The vote was seen by financial markets as a crucial test of Trump's ability to work with Congress to deliver on his agenda. Uncertainty over the bill rattled financial markets this week. U.S. stock markets rose steadily in recent months on optimism over a pro-business Trump agenda but fell back sharply on Tuesday as investors worried that failure to push through the healthcare bill could postpone other Trump priorities like tax cuts and infrastructure spending. "The continued divisions within the Republicans will, at the margin, raise concerns about the prospects for the pro-growth legislation that the White House plans to subsequently submit to Congress, including tax reform," said Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at financial group Allianz. In the last 30 minutes of trading on Thursday, the benchmark S&P 500 stock index dipped as the first headlines moved about the vote delay. It closed down very slightly. "Delay on healthcare equates to delay on tax cuts. That is why the market turned red when the news flow suggested they didn't have a deal," said David Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer at Cumberland Advisors, a money management firm. But others said it was too soon to panic. "If this thing gets materially delayed or if we get a 'no' vote, we're going to see a horrific market reaction. But if they vote in the morning and it passes, we'll have a hell of a rally," said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The delay in the house vote is likely to extend the ups and downs in the stocks of some hospital groups and health insurers. REPUBLICAN PROMISE Trump and Republicans had campaigned on a promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, passed in 2010. Republican control of the White House, the Senate and the House has given the party a chance to achieve what it has long aspired to do - overturn a law they cast as too invasive and too expensive. Obamacare aimed to boost the number of Americans with health insurance through mandates on individuals and employers, and income-based subsidies. Some 20 million Americans gained insurance coverage through the law. The House replacement plan would rescind the taxes created by Obamacare, repeal a penalty against people who do not buy coverage, slash funding for the Medicaid programme for the poor and disabled, and modify tax subsidies that help individuals buy plans. The Republican plan got more unwelcome news late on Thursday from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, which said that the latest version of the bill would reduce the U.S. budget deficit by less than the original version. The smaller deficit reduction was expected due to tweaks made this week to try to build support for the bill. But the CBO said the revised plan would still have the same impact as the original bill on the level of uninsured Americans, with 24 million fewer people having medical coverage by 2026. The Republicans have a majority in the House but because of united Democratic opposition, can afford to lose only 21 Republican votes. As of Thursday morning, NBC News said that 30 Republicans had planned to vote "no" or were leaning that way. With this delay, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and his Republican leadership team will continue to search for ways to alter the legislation and bring it to a vote. (Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell, Steve Holland, Jeff Mason, Caroline Humer, Megan Davies, Emily Stephenson, Jennifer Ablan, Noel Randewich, Lewis Krauskopf, and Doina Chiacu; Writing by Frances Kerry and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Michael Perry, Bill Trott and Bill Rigby) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-03-24
  13. Hawaii lawmaker resigns from Republican Party to join Democrats By Steve Gorman REUTERS U.S. Representative Beth Fukumoto is shown in this undated handout photo in Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S., provided March 22, 2017. Courtesy of Hawaii State Capitol/Handout via REUTERS REUTERS - Hawaii lawmaker Beth Fukumoto, ousted last month as Republican leader of the state's House of Representatives after publicly criticizing President Donald Trump, resigned on Wednesday from her party to seek membership as a Democrat. Fukumoto, 33, the youngest Hawaii legislator to serve as House minority leader, said divisive campaign rhetoric during the 2016 elections convinced her the Republican Party no longer reflected her political values or the interests of her state's diverse population. "This election, I saw members of my party marginalizing and condemning minorities, ethnic or otherwise, and making demeaning comments towards women," she said in an open letter of resignation to the Republican Party. Fukumoto, who is of mixed Japanese and Irish ancestry, said she found Trump's comments about banning Muslim immigrants and the possibility of establishing a registry of Muslim-Americans to be especially troubling. "I wanted very badly to see the Republican Party denounce his comments, and that didn't happen," she told Reuters, saying a Muslim registry struck her as "one step away" from internment camps. "That for me was the issue that really changed how I felt." A self-described political moderate, Fukumoto was the first Republican in 26 years to represent the largely middle-class central Oahu district outside Honolulu, capital of the predominantly Democratic state. She said she originally joined the Republicans out of a sense that Democrats were the status quo party, but she grew gradually disillusioned with the Republicans. She recounted a fellow Republican caucus member admonishing her last year that they should be considered the "party of middle America" despite Hawaii's diverse demographics. Before making the switch, Fukumoto sent out a questionnaire to constituents seeking their opinions. Of those who replied, 76 percent said they would support her regardless, while most of the remainder opposed her changing parties, she said. First elected to the state legislature in 2012, Fukumoto became leader of the state's tiny House Republican caucus two years later, only to be removed by her peers in February of this year after she spoke out against Trump during the Women's March in Hawaii the day after his inauguration. As of Wednesday, Fukumoto, became the lone independent among 45 Democrats and five remaining Republicans in the state's lower House, as she launches a process of applying for membership in the state's majority party. (Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Joseph Radford) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-03-23
  14. White House says Trump stands by claim Obama wiretapped him By Ayesha Rascoe and Doina Chiacu REUTERS The Trump Tower logo is pictured in New York, U.S., May 23, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump stands by his accusation that the Obama administration tapped his phones during the 2016 presidential campaign, the White House said on Thursday, despite three senior lawmakers rejecting Trump's claim. The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee said in a statement they saw "no indications" of surveillance at Trump Tower in New York as the president claimed in Twitter posts on March 4. "Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016," Republican Chairman Richard Burr and Senator Mark Warner, the committee's Democratic vice chairman, said in a statement. The top Republican in Congress, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, on Thursday added his voice to those saying there was no sign of a wiretap. But White House spokesman Sean Spicer forcefully defended Trump's assertion during a briefing, citing media reports that have discussed intelligence collection on possible contacts between Trump associates and Russia in the campaign. "There is no question that there were surveillance techniques used throughout this," Spicer said. When pressed for further evidence, Spicer chastised the media for focussing so much attention on comments disparaging Trump's claim about surveillance. He said reporters have not focussed enough on comments from officials denying evidence of any collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. The Russian government has rejected an accusation by U.S. intelligence agencies that it worked to influence the election in Trump's favour by hacking computer systems, among other methods. House Speaker Ryan told reporters: "The point is, the intelligence committees in their continuing, widening, ongoing investigation of all things Russia, got to the bottom - at least so far - with respect to our intelligence community that - that no such wiretap existed." An official familiar with the investigations by Congress and intelligence and law enforcement agencies said investigators have looked as aggressively and thoroughly as they can for evidence of any spying on Trump or his associates but have found none. Trump, a Republican, made the accusation six weeks after he took over the presidency from Democrat Barack Obama. Trump accused Obama of wiretapping him during the late stages of the campaign, but provided no evidence. Obama said through a spokesman that it was "simply false." "How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!," Trump wrote. At least four congressional committees added the startling accusation in their investigations of possible Russian meddling in the election campaign and Russian ties to Trump and his associates. On Wednesday, House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a Republican, and top Democrat Adam Schiff told reporters they had seen no evidence that Trump Tower was tapped and said they would ask Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey about the issue during a public hearing on Monday. Ryan told reporters he received the same intelligence briefing as Nunes and Schiff. Trump appeared to back away from his accusation of wiretapping in a Fox News interview on Wednesday night. "But wiretap covers a lot of different things. I think you’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks," Trump said. (Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by David Alexander and Grant McCool) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-03-17
  15. Not something to joke about - wife kills husband who said he wanted to get a "gig" Picture: Pattaya News PATTAYA: -- A wife in Pattaya stabbed her husband to death in a rage after he joked that he wanted to get a "gig". Sombat Klinkosum, 53, was found with two stab wounds in front of his house in the Khao Noi area of Bang Lamung. The wife - who was not named in the Pattaya News story - did not flee the scene. Police said that she was waiting to give herself up when they arrived with medics. The wife was described as very drunk. Police said that the husband and wife were drinking alcohol with two or three friends out the front of their house on Wednesday when the victim joked that he would like to get a "gig" (a mistress). But the wife did not see the funny side and an argument broke out. Soon after the matter escalated and the wife went into the house and grabbed a fruit paring knife. She emerged and stabbed her husband in the left side of the chest and by the right armpit in full view of the others at the drinks party. He tried to flee to get help but made it only as far as the front of his house before he collapsed and died. Source: Pattaya News -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-03-24
  16. Comedian's son admits to speeding prior to fatal crash: Police By Teeranai Charuvastra, Staff Reporter Kittiphum Iamsook said farewell on Thursday to the coffin of the victim he killed in a Monday car crash. PATHUM THANI — Police on Friday said they have charged the son of a famous comedian for a high-speed car crash that killed an engineer earlier this week. For slamming his BMW into another car at a U-turn in Pathum Thani province, Kittiphum Iamsook, 28, was charged with speeding and fatal reckless driving, according to a local police chief, who added that the suspect admitted to speeding when the accident took place. Full story: http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/crimecourtscalamity/2017/03/24/comedians-son-admits-speeding-prior-fatal-crash-police/ -- © Copyright Khaosod English 2017-03-24
  17. Tourist Fight ends with Bloody Mess By Danny Boy - Tourist fights ends with a trip to hospital for both involved PATTAYA: -- At around 3:00am on January 30th, Pattaya police and emergency services were called to the scene of a tourist fight. The incident took place on Pattaya second road, South Pattaya, very close to the Wat Chai temple. Arriving at the scene, police found both men who had been involved waiting for assistance. Both had suffered pretty bad injuries and need immediate attention. It is not yet understood what caused the fight to break out in the first place, although eye witnesses said that they saw an argument break out for several minutes before they started throwing punches. The fight ended when one of the men used a bottle and smashed it over the face of the other, causing a large gash to the victim’s neck. Witnesses called for emergency services immediately. Blood was still pouring from the wound when the police and ambulance services arrived and the two men were treated at the scene before being taken to hospital for final checkups. One of the men involved was 21 year old Nikita Rodchenko, a Russian tourist, but he was fairly reluctant to give police too much information. The other man involved managed to make a run from the hospital before police had a chance to question him. Police are no looking for the man who escaped as they want to bring him in for questioning before deciding whether to make any charges against either of the two men. They have asked all local hospitals and clinics to be on alert as the man may still be injured and will most likely need medical supplies. Source: http://pattayaone.news/en/tourist-fight-ends-bloody-mess/ -- © Copyright Pattaya One 2017-01-30
  18. Thai wife arrives too late to save Austrian man Picture: Thairath UDON THANI: -- An Austrian man's Thai wife who had arranged to go with him on a visa run turned up at his place and found him dead from an apparent heart attack. Usa, 38, and her husband had been married for five years but lived in separate places in Udon. She had seen him on Wednesday evening but then went home to her mum and dad, reported Thairath. The couple had arranged to meet Thursday to go to Laos to extend the husband's visa. Usa found Roman Kothgabner, 54, dead in his room. Police and medics called to the address said that there was no sign of a struggle and nothing had been taken. The deceased was found dressed only in shorts and was half on his bed half off. There was fluid coming from his mouth and nostrils and he was thought to have been dead about nine hours. A large quantity of Thai herbal medications was found on a table in the room. His wife said that she was not aware that he had any serious illnesses. If he was ever sick he would take herbal remedies. She added that her husband had been in Thailand ten years. Medics think that he suffered a heart attack the previous evening but the body was taken for autopsy to confirm matters. Source: Thairath -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-02-17
  19. Facebook ganja dealer earned 100K monthly and lived in a 17 million baht house Picture: Thairath BANGKOK: -- Police in Bangkok have announced the arrest of a ganja dealer who was advertising on Facebook and sending the drugs to customers through the post. He had hacked the Facebook account of an innocent woman. He was found to be living in a recently purchased 17 million baht house in Ram Intra Soi 9. His operation had a turnover of 20 million baht and he was raking in 100,000 baht a month, reported Thai Rath. Investigators also found out he owns seven other houses and condos throughout Bangkok. Arrested yesterday in a joint police and military operation was 31 year old Kanchai Riksaensuk. At his 17 million baht house investigators found 27.5 kilos of compressed ganja and ten bankbooks in the name of a female called Sakao Yanphrai, 30, who was also detained at the property. Senior police chief Surachet Hakphan said that the arrest followed investigations after it was discovered that information about drugs prices was being displayed on the Facebook account of a woman living in North Samrong. The woman's address was raided on Wednesday but she was found to be totally innocent. Her account had been hacked by Kanchai. Investigators were able to follow the computer trail and it led to Kanchai's house in Ram Intra Soi 9 yesterday. He told police that he bought the ganja for 8,000 baht a block and made about 30% profit on it. He said he was making 100,000 baht a month from the business. He made out that he was not a major dealer but police dismiss this and are expanding the inquiry after finding out that Kanchai owns seven other properties throughout the city. Source: Thai Rath -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-03-24
  20. Video: Scary moment as motorcyclist escapes mobile crane with "brake failure" Picture: video screenshot BANGKOK: -- A scary video is doing the rounds of Thai social media that shows a mobile crane colliding with a traffic light and crushing a motorcycle. The accident happened in the Tiwanon area of Pathum Thani and the CCTV footage was shared to Youlike. It shows a mobile crane approaching parked cars at the San Mae Ooi intersection. The driver appears to suffer brake failure and avoids cars in his path by veering to the left, reported Sanook. Despite not going fast he is still unable to stop and collides with a traffic light. A waiting motorcyclist realizes the peril he is in and tries to move out of the way. He appears to get free but his bike is crushed as the crane comes to a halt some meters own the road. Sanook.com said that the intersection was well known for incidents of this nature. It was not reported if the motorcyclist suffered any injury. Source: Sanook -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-03-24
  21. PM confirms Thai Navy to get three Chinese submarines March 23, 2017 09:52 By The Nation BANGKOK: -- It’s finally Chinese submarines for Thailand. But the government had to pay for only two and the third one was “a free gift”, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha revealed at his weekly press briefing yesterday. The announcement by the PM ends a wait of over two decades for the Navy. Thailand had four submarines in 1937, the first country in Asean to have submarines and only the second in Asia. Made in Japan, they became damaged over time and were beyond repair. Following the defeat of Japan in World War II, the submarines were discharged in 1951. Since then, Thailand has never had any submarines. The Thai Navy revived its quest for some submarines to be deployed in the Thai waters, especially in the Gulf of Thailand, in 1995. Several western countries – Germany, Sweden, France – and Russia were eager to offer new submarines at good prices, but the Navy’s dream was hampered by budget shortage and political problems. In 2010, the Navy made another try, eyeing six submarines from Germany, though they were second hand. The Navy then readjusted the plan, eyeing one brand new submarine from either Germany or South Korea, but even that bid was suspended. It was only when the current military government took power in 2014 that the Navy felt itself closer to realising its dream. The three submarines are Yuan Class S26 T, which have been developed exclusively for Thailand based on China’s Yuan Class Type 039 A. They would be nearly 78 metres long and 9 metres wide, equipped with the latest technology AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) system, that would allow them to dive consecutively up to 21 days without surfacing. Normal nuclear-based submarines can dive around seven to 10 days. The deal would cost Thailand Bt3.6 billion. Sensing the criticism of the Navy’s obsession with acquiring submarines, Prayut urged the public to understand why the country needed the subs, and that too from China. “The submarines from China are the cheapest with the quality relatively acceptable. It has also offered services after purchase, something extra that we have received. I asked my Deputy Prime Minister Prawit [Wongsuwan], and he is ready for any examination of their worthiness. “We are not rich, and we don’t have much money to spend [on them]. We cannot build them on our own so we have to buy them from others,” said Prayut. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30310014 -- © Copyright The Nation 2017-03-23
  22. Blacklisted Englishman desperate to return home to Thailand after being deported as his children suffer without him Picture: Thairath BANGKOK: -- Thai Rath online have taken up the case of a Englishman who was deported from Thailand after an argument with neighbors in Phuket several years ago. Life turned upside down for John David Young who had lived in Thailand for two decades. Now his children that he was looking after have a variety of problems and are missing their dad. Thai Rath reported that an increasing number of foreigners are making roots in Thailand but when things go wrong it may be their children that suffer if they are deported or blacklisted. In the case of Mr Young they said that he had started a sports bar business in Phuket. An initial relationship with a Thai woman had turned sour and she had fled abroad to marry another man - leaving him with a boy to look after who is now 14. Thereafter he had a second relationship and a daughter with another woman who subsequently left him too and went to live in Pattaya. The girl was also being looked after by Mr Young and is now seven years old. But things really took a turn for the worse when an argument over noise at one Halloween caused a fight between Mr Young and his female Thai neighbor and her foreign husband. Though Mr Young suffered a broken arm and other injuries he was the one who was charged with going into the neighbor's house to cause trouble. He was given sentences on two charges totaling 3 years in jail that was reduced by half on admission. This was suspended but he was deported leaving the children separated and in the hands of friends and relatives. In the intervening time the son has had emotional problems and run away from home and the daughter is in a situation where she lives near a bar and there are reports that she is upset at school. Teachers said she misses her dad and wants him to come home. A welfare group has taken up the case saying that they have the best interests of the children at heart and think that Mr Young should be allowed to return to Thailand. They have made representations to the interior ministry and immigration and the matter is being looked into. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindthorn was also contacted on behalf of the children but while Her Royal Highness appreciated the plight of the children she said in a letter to the family that the matter must be dealt with according to the law. Mr Young is reportedly now living in Malaysia. A friend has taken the children to visit him both there, in Singapore and in Bali over the last few years but Mr Young is desperate to return to Thailand that he considers home. Thai Rath said that having the children live in the United Kingdom was not an option as they did not have UK passports. It was claimed that Mr Young had some problem regarding living in his homeland though this was not adequately explained in the story. But the bottom line was that Mr Young had been parted from his children who he was taking care of, the children were suffering and that many people both Thai friends and Thai officialdom and a family lawyer were fighting for his return to the kingdom. He had been blacklisted but this was essentially unfair; justice should be done in the case, reported Thai Rath online. Commenting on the case immigration chief Nathatorn Phrosunthorn outlined in a separate story that there were essentially two reasons why people might be deported. Simply put, he said, there were those that committed crimes abroad who were deported and there were those that had committed crimes within Thailand. In the case of Mr Young the court had decided that after he broke the law he should be deported. If the court had decided that he should remain in the kingdom then immigration were bound by that decision, he said. Nathathorn commented further that when five years had passed Mr Young could apply to return. Sources: Thai Rath, Thai Rath -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-03-22
  23. Australia again denounced for treatment of Aborigines as U.N. investigates By Benjamin Weir REUTERS Members of the Australian Aboriginal community of Ramingining stand next to a machine used to pay for fuel in East Arnhem Land, located east of the Northern Territory city of Darwin,Australia November 25, 2014. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia came under fresh criticism over its treatment of its indigenous population on Tuesday as a UN investigator examined the impact of a government takeover of remote communities and as Canberra pushes its bid to join the UN Human Rights Council. Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders make up just three percent of Australia's population of 23 million people but have disproportionately high rates of suicide, alcohol abuse, domestic abuse and imprisonment, tracking near the bottom in almost every economic and social indicator. U.N. special rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz this week started a 15-day tour to review the impact of laws surrounding the government's 2007 intervention, which was aimed at curbing alcohol abuse, domestic violence and improving health. "The special rapporteur's visit comes at a time we're hearing harrowing allegations from young people brutalised by the youth justice systems," Tammy Solonec, Indigenous Rights Manager of Amnesty InternationalAustralia, said in a statement on Tuesday. "Prime Minister (Malcolm) Turnbull must show federal leadership in setting a national plan to address it." Australia's human rights record on indigenous issues has come under scrutiny with a royal commission in the Northern Territory and a parliamentary inquiry in Victoria hearing allegations of abuses against juvenile prison inmates. Australia is seeking a seat on the 47-member UN Human Rights Council, potentially putting it at odds with the global body which has repeatedly criticised Australia's treatment of its indigenous population. Tauli-Corpuz will investigate issues surrounding indigenous detention conditions, land rights, violence against women and the rate of children removed from their homes, a U.N. statement said. Tauli-Corpuz will report her findings in September. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2016 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners accounted for over a quarter of the total prison population. (Editing by Byron Kaye and Nick Macfie) -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-03-24
  24. Brit's murder latest: Suspects hired van from border - one shaved his beard off on journey back Picture: Sanook PATTAYA: -- Police in Pattaya have interviewed the minivan driver who drove the two suspects in the murder of Tony Kenway to the resort from the Cambodian border Lert Laimeun, 48, said the two men - Miles Dicken Turner, a Briton, and Abel Caldeira Bonito, a South African - paid him 2,500 baht a day to rent him and his van for seven days. He took them to Pattaya on the 19th and was given a further 500 baht a day to stay in a resort in Bang Lamung. He was told to stay on standby and not to go anywhere. The two men disappeared but kept in telephone contact every day. They told him after a few days that their business in Pattaya was not yet concluded. They on the day of the shooting - Tuesday - he got a call from the suspects who said to take them back to Hat Lek on the border. On the way Miles shaved his beard off and asked to smoke cigarettes. When they reached the border they gave him a 5,000 baht tip and crossed over to Cambodia. Mr Tony Kenway was shot outside the Sanit Sports Club in Pong district on Tuesday as he sat in his red Porsche Cayenne. The suspects fled the scene on a motorcycle rented earlier and later dumped in Soi Pattaya Park. The South African was the shooter and the Briton drove the getaway motorcycle. Police are still working on the theory that the men had a business conflict with the victim but are tight lipped about the exact nature of this for fear of damaging the case, They have contacted their counterparts in Cambodia in an effort to track down the suspects. Yesterday regional top brass inspected the site of the shooting and the Porsche before going into a crisis meeting to discuss the way forward in the case. Mr Kenway, a father of four married to a Thai woman called Somporn, lived in the Pong area in one of four properties he owned in Thailand. He had been living in the country around seven years. He had been arrested in 2015 and charged with illegal work and hiring illegal workers, a case that was due to have its next hearing in February. Source: Daily News, Sanook -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-01-27
  25. Policeman fined 500 baht after attacking a monk on his morning alms rounds Picture: Daily News TRANG: -- A policeman in Trang in the south of Thailand was fined 500 baht after he grappled with a monk collecting alms on his morning rounds. It is believed that the policeman mistakenly thought that the monk was a fake, Daily News reported. But Phra Mahasaksorn Khongphon, 52, was a perfectly respectable monk from the temple of Wat Khlong Nam Jet. Constable Manop Chaidech, attached to the water police in Trang, held the monk in a head lock then slapped him around the head to subdue him. The policeman is thought to have been drunk. Manop accepted the error of his ways later and paid a fine of 500 baht. Since the attack Manop has not been into work. Her was taken home by his wife after the incident earlier in the week. Prasert Songsaeng of Trang police played down the incident saying it was not a dangerous assault, while Manop had not been tested for alcohol in his system as a vehicle was not involved. His boss at the water police Chatchai Sinla said he couldn't comment as to whether the policeman was drunk as he wasn't there. He said yesterday that Manop had failed to turn up for work. He announced that a committee had been convened to look into the matter but stated that Manop was a man who often made merit. A fine had been paid but they would try to find out what possible misunderstanding caused the officer to think that the monk was a fake. Source: Daily News -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-03-23